Tottenham are set to battle Arsenal for the signing of Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge.
What’s the story?
With the Blades currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table at the moment, relegation to the Championship seems a distinct possibility come the end of the season.
Jeunes Footeux have now claimed that both Spurs and Arsenal are interested in signing Berge, and that they are “on alert” over his potential availability this summer.
Should Spurs sign Berge?
The report adds that Sheffield United will look to get a fee of around €26m (£22m) to let the Norway international go.
Game-changer for Mourinho
Standing at an imposing 6 foot 5, the 23-year-old is unlike any of Spurs’ current midfield options, and it’s something his former manager at the Blades, Chris Wilder, has been quick to highlight.
He said: “Sander has been unique. He is the one who has stood out for us. He is a complete midfielder. He can play as 8s and as 6s. He can play in different formations. The wonderful thing about Sander is his attitude.
“Complete midfielders are like that. Look at Jordan Henderson (FWA’s Footballer of the Year last season). Sander should gain enormous confidence that he can play so well in various positions in the Premier League.”
Berge’s height, physicality and versatility makes him a complete contrast to what Mourinho already has at his disposal – perhaps only Moussa Sissoko comes close in terms of his ability to play in numerous positions as a midfield player.
Looking through Mourinho’s most successful teams, he’s always had physically dominant players in the middle. Think back to Nemanja Matic, Michael Ballack and Michael Essien in his time at Chelsea, for example. Berge follows in that mould with his sheer presence in the engine room, and it’s exactly why he could be a game-changer for his manager at Spurs.
The club’s chief scout Steve Hitchen could be onto an absolute gem in Berge, by recognising that while the Blades as a team have been struggling, they do have some standout players who could cut it at Premier League level.
It’s now up to Daniel Levy to try and get a deal done before Arsenal do.